Thursday, 17 July 2008

Young People

I’ve been reading up a bit about money usage amongst the population of the UK and one thing that surprised me was that 16-20 year olds are apparently the group that generally save the most, both in terms of the percentage of their incomes they save and the percentage of the group that are actually using savings accounts actively, even if it's just to put in a little each week.

There’s hardly a day passes where I don’t either hear or read something detrimental about our young people: they’re all a bunch of layabouts with no manners, no respect for others or their property, no care for the future, and no willingness to learn responsibility. I hate listening to that kind of thing because while some youth do fit those categories, it certainly doesn’t apply to all. There are a lot of fantastic young people out there and although some of the friends my daughter brings to the house could do with getting their arses into gear and actually doing something, most are wonderful kids who I love chatting with.

Now when you think that approximately sixty percent of young people are in some form of higher education, for them to be the largest group of savers, a lot of them must be working part-time (I know almost all of my daughter’s friends do). That hardly makes them useless layabouts does it?

And as for responsibility, aren’t they showing that they ARE being responsible by saving? My daughter has refused point blank to get a credit card because she knows she won’t be able to handle it sensibly just yet - the temptation to spend what she doesn’t have would just be too great. Isn’t that showing responsibility? And she isn’t the only one; several of her friends have said the same. Unfortunately, one has gone mad with her credit card and doesn’t understand that the minimum payment is designed to keep her in debt for a very long time but there will always be some.

Also, if the figures are correct and more than half of our young people are either attending college or university, doesn’t that show that they’re they do indeed care about their future? Amongst those I know, most are now preparing to head off to uni after finishing their college courses, one's taking a gap year to do voluntary work somewhere in Asia and LM's off to Norway to rediscover her roots. Only one failed her course and is now kicking her heels (yes, that'd be the same one as has the credit card).

Yes, my daughter and her friends go out on the piss now and then, only to roll in legless at stupid o'clock but LM's never taken her car when she's gone drinking and neither do most of her friends. To my knowledge they've never caused anybody any trouble through seriously inconsiderate behaviour either. And aren't we just a little inconsiderate at times, anyway?

Not all kids hang out on street corners, carry knives, steal or find pleasure through defacing other people's property and although there are some who will never contribute anything worthwhile to society, we really shouldn’t put them all over the same barrel. Sadly, they’re the ones that make the news and the ones that get noticed the most but I really think there's more good amongst young people than they're generally given credit for.

I personally love the company of youths and they seem to enjoy coming to our house so I guess it’s mutual. I certainly hope so, anyway. I shall miss that once Linn Marie leaves, but life goes on and a new chapter starts.

Sharon J


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Pat said...

Its nice to see somebody seeing the good in youngsters for a change.

Jack said...

That young people actually save is actually surprising, though maybe it's different in the States. Or maybe it's my own prejudice...


Anonymous said...

I do hate the way the press paints all young people with the same brush..I have three kids 14-21 and they all have their moments, but they are all kind, all polite and all have respect for other people. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sharon J said...

@ Pat. Thanks. I really think it's better to celebrate the good rather than look for the bad, which we'll always find if we're determined to find it. No one thing or person's all good or all bad, after all.

@ Jack. It wouldn't surprise me if things are different in the US. The UK's materialistic enough but the US takes a lot of beating.

@ Move to Portugal. Mine have their moments too (sometimes a few too many even) but on the whole they're good kids. Things could be a whole lot worse.

Frugal Trenches said...

Sadly in this country young people get such a bad rep, there are some wonderful young people in Britian and they need a more powerful voice!

Sharon J said...

They do indeed. As my daughter says, the press make it sound as if you're likely to get stabbed, raped or beaten up as soon as you walk outside your door but they never mention the millions those things never happen to. They just love to paint a bleak picture of everything.